Establishing Anchors on the Board

Backgammon anchors are essential for an aggressive strategy on the board. We need to consider positioning a "satellite" right in the enemy territory.

Anchors are points we occupy and control inside the opponent's home board. These are points with 2 or more checkers belonging to us. When the points having 2 or more of our checkers are on our home board we call them primes. But when they're on the enemy home board they are called anchors.

What's the advantage of having anchors? Anchors are strategic places from which we may hit blots on enemy territory. Since we start from the opponent's home board and go to our home board, it would often do us well to establish anchors for a while as long as we are mostly in enemy territory. It would be easier to hit blots where lone enemy checkers occupy a point singly right on the enemy home board.

But it would not be good to remain having backgammon anchors throughout the game. This is a sure way of losing. Backgammon is not a game of merely occupying points on the board. It is basically a race of who would be able to bring checkers across the board and bear them off. Anchors can only benefit us at the start of a game.

Anchors can also make it hard for the opponent to place enemy checkers on consecutive points as the opponent proceeds to transfer checkers to the enemy home board. The opponent would have to avoid landing checkers on our anchors. So, while having majority of our checkers on the enemy home board we might as well build as many anchors as possible.

When more of our checkers are on our home board we may proceed to gradually dismantle our anchors and move our anchor checkers to our home board. However, they become easy targets for enemy hits because they are likely to be moving blots. We may move them as primes as often as we can. But moving them so would take as lots of turns before they reach home base.

Hence, it would be wise to have anchors never take too long occupying a point in enemy territory. Always remember the backgammon race. We need to win the race, not conquer points permanently. We need to be mindful of winning, not just positioning.

Backgammon anchors are strategic points we control in enemy territory. But we should also take care never to overuse them in the game.